Mexico’s president pushes back on proposals for U.S. military to tackle drug cartels

By Kendal Blust
Published: Friday, March 10, 2023 - 7:55am

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Gobierno de Mexico
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected proposals by some U.S. Republican lawmakers to intervene in Mexico to combat drug cartels.

Mexico’s president gave a forceful rebuke to a proposal by some Republican lawmakers to use the U.S. military to fight drug cartels in Mexico. He sees the idea as a threat to his country’s sovereignty.

Irresponsible and offensive. That is how President Andrés Manuel López Obrador characterized calls for the U.S. military to intervene in Mexico during his daily press conference Thursday.

He was responding to U.S. lawmakers, including Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw and Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose calls for military action intensified after four U.S. citizens were kidnapped in the city of Matamoros in northeastern Mexico this week. Two of them were killed.

López Obrador said he won’t permit the U.S. to interfere in his country. Calling Republican lawmakers “interventionist, hypocritical and corrupt,” López Obrador said he would begin a campaign against the party directed at Mexicans living in the U.S.

He criticized the lawmakers for trying to fight violence with violence. However, his administration sent hundreds of additional military to Matamoros this week, despite recent killings of civilians by soldiers in the state. His government has received harsh criticism for its lackluster response to those killings, as well as for the disparity between the swift response to recover the kidnapped U.S. citizens and the usually ineffective response by authorities to the thousands of Mexican citizens who go missing in the country every year.

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